After adding USC and UCLA from the Pac-12, the Big Ten Conference hopes to add a valuable school that is much closer to their main base: Notre Dame.
One of those who actively advocates for the inclusion of Notre Dame in the “Big Ten” is Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith, a graduate of Notre Dame.
Speaking to the media on Friday, Smith said he always believed Notre Dame should be at the conference—at any conference. He said he hoped his alma mater would consider joining the Big Ten if it was extended.
“It’s hard to talk about it. I love my alma mater, except when we play some kind of sport with them. But I always felt they should be at the conference,” Smith said. — And I hope they are considering it. I do not know what the next step will be, but I have always said that I hope they will consider this opportunity, and I hope it is the Big Ten. But who knows? for a long time.”
Notre Dame has participated in conferences in most sports for decades, with the exception of their main source of income: football. All of their sports, except football and ice hockey, are tied to the ACC, and ice hockey is tied to the Big Ten.
But Notre Dame’s football program is a jewel in the crown that could lead to a skyrocketing media rights deal at any conference.
The Big Ten makes sense given Notre Dame’s geographical proximity to the rest of the conference.
Will Notre Dame make the Big Ten?